mother cat with her kittens

Spaying and Neutering – Facts You Should Know

It may seem at first that you are being cruel when you spay or neuter your furry family member. However, it is a necessary procedure. Right now, we have a pet homelessness crisis in the United States. Every year, shelters euthanize pets because there are not enough homes to take them. Spaying and neutering also have health benefits and help ensure that your loved one lives a whole and happy life.

Health Benefits

According to the ASPCA there are health benefits to spaying and neutering.

  • Spaying helps prevent malignant or cancerous uterine infections and breast tumors in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Your pet gets the best protection if you have it done before your pet’s first heat.
  • Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

Preventing Overpopulation

Another primary reason is that in the United States, we have a massive overpopulation of pets. With July being peak kitten season, we are reminded of this overpopulation even more.

  • Approximately 6.5 million animals are taken into animal shelters every year. Roughly 3.3 million are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats.
  • About 1.5 million of those end up euthanized. So, you can see the problem with that. By spaying or neutering, you are taking responsibility and not contributing to that problem.

You should know that those statistics are improving quite significantly. In 2011, just ten years ago, there were approximately 2.6 million animals euthanized annually.

Here in Illinois, we’re not doing too badly compared to some other states, however there have still been over 10 thousand animals that have had to be put down. We want to help get that number as close to 0 as possible.

Another thing that you can do is shop for a new pet at your local shelter. You could be saving their life.

You can also search for a new pet on petfinder.com. They have connections to rescues and shelters all over the United States. You can search by breed, sex, age, temperament, etc.

And you can often get details about the pet before you adopt. You can search for cats, dogs, small animals, barn animals, and even horses. It is a great site to find the pet you are looking for and save a life.

Other Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

There are other possible benefits to having your pet spayed or neutered, such as lowered aggression levels in males. Females will not go into heat, which means less yowling and urination.

The procedure is certainly much cheaper than suddenly having to care for many more extra mouths one day.

Animals are also much more inclined to roam around while searching for a mate, which increases the chances of getting lost or injured somehow.

Myths about Spaying and Neutering

We would like to dispel any myths about spaying and neutering.

One of them is that it will make your pet fat. Pets do not gain weight because they have been spayed or neutered. With correct diet and exercise, spaying or neutering has no impact on your pet’s weight.

Spaying or neutering also isn’t a magic cure-all for behavioral problems. Indeed, it can help, but there may be more that you need to address. If you are having behavior issues with your pet, consult your veterinarian.

Summary

Our goal here at Countryside Veterinary Services is to keep your pets as healthy and happy as possible. Additionally, we want to do whatever we can to stop unnecessary animal deaths.

We offer spaying and neutering procedures and are happy to discuss any questions that you might have about the procedures.

Feel free to contact us, and we will work together to find the best solution for any problem.

Sincerely,

Stacey Funderburk D.V.M.
Countryside Veterinary Services